LG focusing on Android with no new Windows Phone planned

This morning LG Electronics reported to the Korea Herald that they have no immediate plans to introduce new Windows Phone to the market. Instead LG are focusing on Android for their future smartphone releases noting that "The total unit of Windows Phone sold in the global market is not a meaningful figure."

The company claimed that the partnership between it and Microsoft remains good but the plan to focus on Windows Phone, announced in 2009, has not worked out for them financially. LG ended up losing money for seven straight quarters and only recently turned a profit. As a result they lost a lot of market share, especially with HTC and Samsung having a winning portfolio of Android devices.

Regarding Windows Phone specifically, a spokesperson for the company told the Herald that they will “continue research and development efforts” on Microsoft's mobile OS.

This news comes on the heels of an announcement of Steve Ballmer headed to Seoul Digital Forum on May 22 where he will be meeting with various business and developers. Though LG claims to not know his business schedule the implication is that Ballmer may meet with LGE for some damage control regarding their recent smartphone decision.

One can claim that LGs offerings for Windows Phone have been extremely lackluster with only the LG Quantum (review), limited to AT&T and a few regional carriers, showing any real innovation. And despite being only one of two hard-keyboard Windows Phone devices it never sold well anywhere. Even the LG Jil Sander phone was a bomb having its price constantly cut, in fact when we got our hands on it we panned the phone as feeling cheap and unexciting.

While prototype devices like the E740 remain floating around (we'll have our mini-review of it later today), the phone is a far cry from anything interesting and would do nothing for LG or Windows Phone were it to be released. It's one unique feature, NFC, has very little support in most major markets in 2012.

Clearly LG is facing stiff competition, poor R&D and they are feeling the pressure from the Microsoft-Nokia partnership which they commented on in 2011. Perhaps they will use this to leverage a favorable deal from Microsoft if Ballmer meets with them later in May. While it could look bad to lose a major OEM like LG, we're not exactly too saddened either.

Clearly Nokia, HTC and Samsung are the future of Windows Phone.

Source: Korea Herald

Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been here covering Microsoft since 2007 when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, Microsoft Surface, laptops, next-gen computing, and for some reason, watches. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics and ran the projectors at movie theaters, which has done absolutely nothing for his career.

  • Wow... I wanted a Nokia Windows Phone and now that LG has Bowes out...guess what? I still want a Nokia Windows Phone. Congrats LG.... Your the fat chick at prom that is leaving because everyone is dancing with the Prom Queen, Nokia. Good riddance.
  • I don't necessarily agree with your allusion, but I agree that LG leaving isn't a loss. They rarely design desirable smartphone hardware.
  • I purchased the LG Quantum for my mother at a great price, 1 cent. That is the plus for the phone. She thought she would need a keyboard as she ventured into the world of smartphone ownership.  That was the second plus. Pluses end there, though. It was clunky and just not useful.  I bought her an HTC HD7S and she uses it non-stop now. Its better LG leaves. If they aren't going to be committed and only put out junk (compared to other vendors) then that is a win for WP7 - We don't need the experience diluted. BTW I love LG :D I own one of their slim LED TVs and it is immaculate, so please don't interpret my remarks as "hate" just disappointment.
  • Nokia update 2 wp8 ......please
  • You do not even know what is in wp8. So stop asking for it.
  • Nokia update 2 wp8 ......please
  • Lol, love it!
  • LG had a winner in the Panther (OLED screen, great keyboard, thin) but decided to release the Quantum instead. Its ok, but sometimes I think mine looks and feels like a toy. The Optimus 7 just couldn't compete with the Focus or HD7 in terms of looks and specs. So it's disingenuous for LG to blame WP7 for their poor sales when they haven't released compelling hardware. Then again, it's always easier to point fingers instead of looking in the mirror. Last I checked, their android stuff wasn't anything to write home about either...
  • LG builds really boring devices; they should just stick to Android.
    Nokia claims its first victim.
  • ^This.
    Back in early 2011, LG basically publically stated and blamed the WP OS for lackluster sales of their WP devices; and they still are.  At the end of the day, their devices simply aren't aesthetically appealing (WP or Android), and are just boring slabs.
    While it helps that WP have a variety of oems onboard, it is futile for LG to produce WP devices, given that they have no real desire to support the WP platform; and given they are just beginning to see an upside on their profits with Android devices, it's best that they focus on how to maintain that financial trend since Samsung is basically kicking their butts in that regard.
  • Back in early 2011 WP was so lacking that it only appealed to an infinitesimally small group of people when compared to the competition.  After Mango things are better, but still not great.  WP8 is the last hope for the platform in my opinion.  Double-digit marketshare by 1Q of 2013 or it's over.  I'm rooting for them, but am also being realistic.  It's like you're down by 5 runs going in to the bottom of the 9th.  It's possible to come back, but very difficult.  I will stay until it's over.
  • Coming from an Android fan, I agree on the first point, but we don't want or need LG. They really do make boring phones. The fact that they were the first ones with a dual-core phone really is the only thing that stands out from LG. Their hardware design is boring, their specs are boring, and their custom Android UI looks like a TouchWiz ripoff, which in turn is an iOS ripoff.
  • Samsung are still mainly sticking to android Microsoft need to be more open with it's is or it will be left behind
  • Well maybe wp8 will get everyone including Toshiba and Sony lol
  • Just buy Nokia out and build monster devices already. Tired of these other clowns "boo-hoping" about no one buying their fisher-price phones and acting like it is the OS.
  • I like this idea. But Microsoft wants to maintain enough of a relationship with these companies to work with them in the future for other things. At least that would be my guess.
  • They don't care about WP, they are to busy sucking at the android tit.
  • I think it is important that LG focus on the task of not upgrading their Android customers. I'm sure that must be full time work.
  • LG NEVER appealed to me so to me the article is saying" the company that never appealed to you is not focusing on WP we jsut wanted to throw in news different from the great news you hear about Nokia"......thats how I read it lol
  • My wife had an LG Nitro HD - awesome hardware, meh build, horrible software. Bad enough she moved to a Galaxy Nexus, still trying to get her on a windows phone.
  • It's never good when Windows Phone loses OEMs, but LG are kidding themselves if they are blaming Windows Phone for their woes. Their 2 devices were quite lacklustre. The Optimus 7 wasn't bad in terms of Gen1 specs, but it had zero design. Not to mention there was only a limited release and no advertising or promotion whatsoever on LG's part.
    In another showing of LG's ill logic, they choose to go with Android on the basis of HTC and Samsung finding success with it. HTC and Samsung are also finding relative success with Windows Phone. LG can't put all their eggs in one basket when they're in such a position. Plus, Android is so saturated with HTC and Samsung phones that whatever crap LG has to offer will just disappear under all the junk.
  • Samsung and HTC are crushing it so hard with Android l don't see LG being in the phone game for that much longer, you know, unless they put in some effort, which ironically has nothing to do with the OS their phones are running...
  • I've only seen the Optimus 7 from LG, and it's nothing to write home about. It looked and felt like a cheap device. That being said, I almost bought one, only because it was the only WP7 device offered by my carrier. I'm glad I waited for my Lumia though. LG should be ashamed... I'd rather buy a boring cookie-cutter HTC than an LG.
  • I've got a Lumia 710. But I also hadn LG Optimus 7, it was a really nice phone - with very solid build quality.
    LG customer service were also excellent when dealing with an issue I had.
    Lack of choice is not a good thing. I know people wanna hate on LG for this move, but they are simply caught in the shadow of Nokia, who wants to go up against them?
    (Although I agree, they could have invested in more "unique" designs, instead of slabs)
  • I think LG only have themselves to blame that their WP7 handsets did not sell. Although none of the past or present WP devices are what we would like to have spec-wise, Nokia, HTC & Samsung have done the best they could within the Microsoft guidelines & I applaud them for that. LG on the other hand released utter crap which would not have sold no matter what OS they used. Take a step back & look at the hardware you are offering to consumers LG. Don't blame the WP OS for your shortcomings.
  • lol poor lg, i owned the lg incite, lg expo and 4 lg quantum i sell over 20 of the quantum in my country an ppl loves them. and yes if lg leaves i have no problem getting that nokia phone, as a matter a fact i need the lumia 900 :D.
    come to think of it lg on the android platform isnt all that anyway. 
  • Say what you want about how good/bad LG's Windows Phone phones are (also, how good/bad their Android phones are),
    But a phone manufacturer, no matter how big or small, not (or no longer) wanting to support Windows Phone, is not good for Windows Phone.
    Sure, you can say there's Nokia, and Samsung's alleged plan to base their first Windows Phone 8 device on the up-and-coming Galaxy S3, and many desktop/phone manufacturers wanting to get in on the (WP) action (cough*ASUS*cough) (http://www.pocket-lint.com/news/44724/asus-windows-phone-7-confirmed-but-waiting),
    But you cannot deny the fact that LGE's decision to *for the time being; FINGERS CROSSED* to back the Android platform over the Windows Phone platform will surely have repercussions, especially in the issue of whether Windows Phone as a platform is relevant and profitable in today's fruit-and-sweets dominated smartphone landscape.
    Just saying.
  • LG's reaction reminds me of Sprint's reaction::  "we showed up to the prom, stood in the corner, really didn't do anything, and for some reason we weren't elected Prom King so we're going home."  And while I hate to lose an OEM, even one as completely lackluster as LG was, I can look forward to more from Asus, Huahuei, ZTE and a rolling thunder onslaught from Nokia to keep Windows Phone in the game and drive adoption.
    Speaking of adoption, and completely off-topic:  anyone else notice that Wordament's average number of players at any given time  has nearly tripled since the release of the Lumia 900? 
  • Wordament usage had been rising steadily but I can think we can attribute the big spike in users in the last week lately to it getting promoted to X-box Live. I saw 1354 playing at point yesterday.
  • Couldn't agree more.  To say "oh, Windows Phone isn't succeeding on our devices, we're going to pull out" when you did ZERO advertizing, and ZERO sales rep training, what do you expect?  It's like they wanted very little skin in the game, and expected fantastic results.  Absolutely stupid.  Part of me just wants MS to buy out Nokia and forget OEM'ing Windows Phone OS and build their own devices.  However, Nokia certainly has other ambitions besides smartphones.
  • LG is flying high because their LTE phones are doing pretty good right now (and so is their TV division).
    However, I think LG's profits will shrink again once more (and better) LTE phones start to crowd the market.  After that they're going to pull a Samsung/HTC.  They'll throw WP a bone to see if they can pick up a few extra sales.
  • I still don't see why WP needs a lot of vendors. I don't have any opinion on the LG WP phones but I definitely see no reason to have LG on board for WP. Same for Sony, Dell, Futjitsu and whoever else is making phones. The only companies that matter for WP are Nokia (for obvious reasons), Samsung (these guys will own the world one day) and HTC (because they command geek mindshare... for now). Probably ZTE matter for the asian market but other than that I'd rather see reduction of WP manufacturers. A lot of phones (that are essentially the same) do not serve any purpose but confuse the customer.
  • LG's WP was not at all the same. It was the only one with a keyboard, was not a monstrously sized behemoth, could be hacked for free tethering, and had a decent amount of storage. As it is now, there is no device like it available and that's a shame.
  • Its only a trick to ask money to ms...
  • I feel sorry for them. They've made a series of bad strategic decisions so far and here goes one more. They don't have a firm place in android... and no place in WP either... Sorry for my friends working there...
  • And I really hope they don't release Prada WP8 hoping it sells well and save them magically...
  • The second paragraph sounds for all the world, like they're blaming their Android decline on the few insipid WP phones they released (they call it a "focus on WP"...I just can't bring myself to repeat those words with a straight face). So, their work on the WP stuff was so involving that their Android development went straight to Hell in a handbasket? I'd counter that their Android decline was for much the same reason as their WP disappointment. Whilst no manufacturer has really had rocketing success with WP, some have done better then others simply through trying (which it seems LG didn't want to do).
    Nokia is only just getting started but promising.
    HTC have WP marketshare (losing fast to Nokia) but only really by throwing a bunch of gen 1 devices and seeing what sticks. Most of their gen 1 stuff is quite vanilla. Their gen 2 (or 1.5 if you prefer) seems more concentrated and less scatter-fire. Not doing as well though.
    I'd say Samsung has done the best out of WP (up to the Lumia release). They've managed respectable marketshare (according to I'mAWP7 anyway) through comparatively few phone releases.
  • The wider problem here is that between them Samsung and Apple made 100% of the profit and possessed 74% of the revunue in the sector last quarter. 
  • Does anyone have a Quantum they no longer want? I'm stocking up for fear that it might be the last WP ever with a keyboard.
  • There's rumors of a WP8 with a keyboard. Honestly can't remember which vendor, but with a little searching I'm sure you can find it.
  • I remember that, too, but it's still just a rumor. The trend is clearly with soft keyboards currently and it worries me a bit. Yeah, I could survive without a keyboard similarly to how I've survived without a stylus, but I won't be happy about it.
  • LG doesn't have what it takes to compete with Windows Phone. At least their admitting to their lack of vision and incompetence as it relates to this platform.
  • Who will LG place blame on if sales of their android devices still don't go up?
  • "The company claimed that the partnership between it and Microsoft remains good but the plan to focus on Windows Phone, announced in 2009, has not worked out for them financially. LG ended up losing money for seven straight quarters and only recently turned a profit. As a result they lost a lot of market share, especially with HTC and Samsung having a winning portfolio of Android devices."
    My guess would be that they would still blame Msft. Lol!
  • I can't hate on them too much. They did make the Voyager, and I kept that phone longer than any other (18 months). Jared their LG G2X on T-Mobile. That was the shortest that I kept a phone (2 days).
  • That should say 'hated', not Jared.
  • This is why some of us prefer keyboards to soft keyboards. Now suppose your post was an important email to a major client or your boss and it has a nonsensical error in it. You didn't notice it because half or more of your screen is used by the keyboard. It's unprofessional and embarrassing at best, and career limiting at worst.
  • LG is a SORE loser. If their WP7 handsets aren't selling well, they will soon find they will still fall behind with 'Borg phones...
  • I love how they say they weren't making money on WP. That's because they really went in with one foot. Their phones suck regardless if it's a WP or android. They are a boring ass company who will be beat bad if they don't step it up. If all we had on WP was Nokia i wouldn't even care.
  • I just upgraded from the Quantum to my 900.  I loved the Quantum.  I started my WP7 journey with the original Focus, and eventually bought the Quantum due to the issues I had with the Focus.  It was a fantastic device, imo.  The keyboard was great, something I was sad to leave behind when upgrading.  Say what you will about LG, but the Quantum was good for a first gen launch device.
  • Sad that there won't be a Quantum 2 on the horizon, but I'll stick with my Quantum until is dies or another OEM builds a comparable model.
  • The time has come for Microsoft to draw the line in the sand, and clearly state either you're with us or against us. All this fence sitting does nothing but hurt the brand. Too much time has been wasted with companies that don't believe in WP.
  • LG released 1 phone in the US market and it was arguably the worst Windows Phone ever produced. How many LG Android phones have sold poorly? What a crock. Imagine if LG had quit Android after their first Android flop. I really hope the agreements with LG for Windows 8 tablets are punishing and I hope Samsung and Microsoft get even closer as a result.
  • Who cares? LG made ONE Windows Phone that was boring. Their Android phones don't sell well either.
  • Apple is doing quite fine with their one piece of hardware. To say that WP needs lots of OEM hardware devices to succeed is like saying IPhone is a failure. I personally think that WP can be very successful with Nokia hardware all by its self.
  • Deuces
  • Did LG even release a Mango device with higher than 1ghz?
    Is anyone surprised?